End of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
The Jays put good wood on two deep fly balls in the 9th, but after a two-out single by Lyle Overbay, Papelbon gets John Buck to fly out to shallow center field to end the game. The save is Papelbon’s 20th.
Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
Big pitch by David Purcey to keep the Jays down just one headed to the 9th. Kevin Youkilis singled, and after an Eric Patterson walk and a J.D. Drew fielder’s choice to advanced the runners to second and third, Bill Hall stepped in with two outs.
The left-hander got Hall swinging on a 1-2 fastball, and we’re on to Papelbon in the 9th.
End of the 8th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
Bard sends the Jays down quickly 1-2-3 in the 8th.
It was just announced here in the press box that Beltre left the game with a left hamstring strain.
For those wondering about the length of Beckett’s start in Pawtucket, he threw 68 pitches in his 4 innings. The plan is usually to build toward a full game’s worth, and my understanding is that the amount of pitches Beckett threw today was right around what he was scheduled to throw.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
Following a Marco Scutaro fly out to right, Darnell McDonald hits into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and send it to the bottom of the 8th with the Sox up one.
Bard will be back on to pitch for the Sox in the 8th.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
Kevin Cash leads off the eight with a single just over the head of Gonzalez at short.
For those of you wondering about Beltre, the word is that he pulled up a bit while running to first base, and after spending another half inning in the field, he left the game. We’ll probably have something more definitive after the game.
End of the 7th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
Bard has little trouble as he gets a couple line outs and a ground out to Bill Hall to get out of the inning. We’ll see how Francona chooses to use the bullpen over the course of the next two innings.
Josh Beckett’s day in Pawtucket is over after 4 innings of work. His final line: 4 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts.
Bottom of the 7th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
It just wouldn’t be the Blue Jays if there wasn’t a home run involved.
Aaron Hill puts a pitch from Matsuzaka high and deep over the left-field wall with Adam Lind already on first, and just like that, it’s 3-2.
The home run brings Francona to the mound, and it’s going to end Matsuzaka’s day. Daniel Bard on to pitch for the Sox.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0
Bill Hall singled with two outs, but Litsch struck out Daniel Nava for the second time today to end the inning.
Matsuzaka is on to face the Jays in the 7th. In 11 starts this year, he’s gone further than 6 innings just four times.
End of the 6th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0
The Jays added another single, but Matsuzaka got out of the inning without any problems.
He got Vernon Wells to ground out to Marco Scutaro to end the inning, and the Jays are still scoreless through six.
Daisuke has allowed zero runs on 4 hits and struck out five on 86 pitches.
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0
Ortiz follows McDonald’s home run with one of his own, and Youkilis pops out to end the inning. We’ll see if that’s enough for Daisuke, who hasn’t seen much trouble so far today.
Bill Hall has slid over to third base for Adrian Beltre, who has come out of the game. Eric Patterson replaces Hall at second.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0
Now the Sox are just getting greedy. A home run? C’mon.
Darnell McDonald puts a 3-1 pitch into the seats in left field and just like that, the Sox make up for 5 innings of hapless offense with two swings.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
The Red Sox have a hit! A double, even! Litsch started the inning by striking out Nava and Kevin Cash, but with two down, Marco Scutaro puts a double into the right-center field gap to put one crooked number onto the board for the Sox. Litsch gets a nice bit of applause from the modest crowd here.
End of the 5th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
If not for the Sox’ lack of interest in getting anyone on base, Daisuke would be the story of the day. He’s struck out five and given up only 3 hits through 5 innings of work as he puts the Jays down in order in the bottom half of the 5th.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Bill Hall strikes out to end the inning, and the Sox are still without a hit against the newly untouchable Jesse Litsch.
We should have seen this coming, the guy does have a 7.30 ERA.
End of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
1-2-3 for the Jays in the 4th as Darnell McDonald tracks down a fly ball hit into the gap off the bat of Aaron Hill for the third out of the inning. Suffice it to say that the last two days filled with extra base hits and a ton of runs have been a bit more fun than today.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Well, the Sox still aren’t hitting. David Ortiz walked to give the Sox their first base runner of the day, but Kevin Youkilis flew out to the right to end the inning.
Good news for the Sox is that the Syracuse Chiefs aren’t hitting either. Josh Beckett is through 3 innings in his rehab start in Pawtucket today, and he has allowed no runs on just 1 hit and has struck out 2 on 49 pitches.
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Daisuke had to work his way out of trouble after giving up back-to-back singles to John Buck and Edwin Encarnacion to start off the inning.
Matsuzaka struck out Fred Lewis to get the first out of the inning, and after a fly out to right from Alex Gonzalez sent John Buck to third, Matsuzaka struck out Jose Bautista swinging to end the inning.
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Two great plays by Alex Gonzalez at short keep the Sox hitless after three.
Gonzalez moved over to cut off a Bill Hall ground ball that looked like it might find its way up the middle and got Hall at first to start the inning. And after Daniel Nava grounded out, Gonzalez made a play on a ball hit deep in the hole by Kevin Cash and turned to throw Cash out to end the inning.
End of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Matsuzaka put the Blue Jays down in order in the bottom half of the 2nd to keep the game scoreless. Through two innings, he’s thrown 24 pitches, 16 of them for strikes.
Middle of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
There’s another 1-2-3 inning for Litsch as the Sox go down in order. Kevin Youkilis hit a soft check-swing dribbler to the right side of the infield, and Adrian Beltre followed it up with a fly out to the wall in left before J.D. Drew grounded out to the right side to end the inning.
A quick note: Daniel Nava is in left field and Darnell McDonald is in center as Mike Cameron was held out of today’s game after being hit with a pitch on his forearm yesterday. Terry Francona said before the game that Cameron is just experiencing soreness in the area that he was hit, but if not for the incident, Cameron would be in the lineup.
End of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Alex Gonzalez put one into the left-center field gap for a double, but Matsuzaka got Jose Bautista to pop out to Youkilis for the second out of the inning and Vernon Wells to ground out to Bill Hall at second base for the third.
Bottom of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
The 1st inning has been an issue for Daisuke all year as he’s allowed 16 runs (15 ER) in his 11 starts. But this one starts harmlessly enough as Fred Lewis flies out to Daniel Nava in left for out number one.
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
The Sox go quickly and quietly in the 1st. Marco Scutaro struck out to start the game, and after Darnell McDonald grounded out to Litsch for the second out of the inning, David Ortiz hit a line drive to left that was easily tracked down by Fred Lewis to end the inning.
Top of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0
Gorgeous weather has the roof open again today at the Rogers Centre. Well, sorta. It’s half open. The home plate half of the retractable roof is actually stuck, so from the pitcher’s mound and in, we’ll have some awkward shadows as we start the day.
In more pleasant news, the Blue Jays saved their best for last when it comes to the national anthems. Peter Pirro killed it during “O Canada” and just reminded me why of all the reasons I’d love to be Canadian (awesome accents, socially acceptable mullets, etc.), that song is No. 1.
And in baseball news, it’s Daisuke Matsuzaka against Jesse Litsch as the Sox try to take the series from the Jays and head to the All-Star break with a win. As always, we welcome and appreciate your thoughts and comments.